The tour starts with a short sightseeing tour of Kirkenes, before the bus takes you deep into the surprisingly fertile landscape. Take in the expanse of green hills, dotted with scrubs, birch and pine trees that manage to survive despite the harsh arctic climate. The region has an exciting and at times highly dramatic history, and you’ll hear more about this during the trip.
Kirkenes, Dresden and Malta have got one thing in common: These cities were heavily bombed during World War 2. Kirkenes had more than 300 bombing raids from Soviet airplanes, and more than 1000 times during the war years, the Air Raid alarms were sounded. This was because Kirkenes was one of the most strategic places in Europe during the war.Visit Andersgrotta –Kirkenes’ largest bomb-shelter, built in 1943. Andersgrotta is constructed beneath the bedrock in the centre of Kirkenes, a brilliantly well hidden location. We will show a 9 minute unique archive film, explaining why Kirkenes was bombed and how life as a civilian was during the war.
Visit the border station
First stop is “Skafferhullet”, the historical crossing point on the border between Norway and Russia. Next up is the stop at Storskog – the border station between Norway and Russia. Unfortunately you cannot cross the border, but you are permitted to take pictures and are normally able to purchase Russian souvenirs. On the other side of the border you’ll see the Russian community Boris Gleb.
Then you have a chance to see the small mining community Bjørnevatn, and hear more about the history. Pasvikdalen boasts an imposing landscape filled with rolling green hills and robust trees, and is an area known to have Norway’s largest population of brown bears. Back in Kirkenes you can enjoy the view from the impressive Prestfjellet Mountain.